Optimization problems for biomechanical systems have become extremely complex. Simulated annealing (SA) algorithms have performed well in a variety of test problems and biomechanical applications; however, despite advances in computer speed, convergence to optimal solutions for systems of even moderate complexity has remained prohibitive. The objective of this study was to develop a portable parallel version of a SA algorithm for solving optimization problems in biomechanics. The algorithm for simulated parallel annealing within a neighborhood (SPAN) was designed to minimize interprocessor communication time and closely retain the heuristics of the serial SA algorithm. The computational speed of the SPAN algorithm scaled linearly with the number of processors on different computer platforms for a simple quadratic test problem and for a more complex forward dynamic simulation of human pedaling.